Elizabeth Brands races to the finish line

By Emily Paulson, Staff Writer

The bell rings for school to be over and freshman Elizabeth Brands races towards the locker room to get ready for the thing she loves most, track. Track helps Brands put all her worries behind her and forget about the overwhelming homework from school.

Track is one of the most popular sports at Tigard High School and is Brands’ passion. Brands excels in both sports and schoolwork while trying to improve every day. “I love when I set a goal and achieve it; it is very fun,” Brands said while talking about getting a PR in track.

Brands cares a lot about family, friends, and school. She is the twin sister of Sophie Brands, who also does track. Sophie knows Elizabeth best out of anyone. “She cares about it a lot. She likes to go on runs whenever she can, and she always talks about the races that are going on,” Sophie said. She always goes on runs with Elizabeth to spend more time with her. “She’s very determined to achieve her goals in running,” Sophie said. Elizabeth trains year round for track which makes her one of the best in the district.

Elizabeth didn’t always have a love for track. “I started in the fifth grade mostly because my sister Sophie decided to do it,” she said. “Originally I mostly did it to stay in shape for soccer but after a while, I really started to like it.” Elizabeth was one of the best girls’ distance runners in this past track season for the high school.

The season was ground-breaking for Brands. She made varsity track as a freshman and participated in the 800, 1500, and the 4 by 400 relay team. At districts, Brands ran the 1500m and the 4 by 400 relay. Both events went very well for her. She got 4:46.94 on her 1500 and 4:08.95 on the 4 by 400 relay.

One of Brands’ close friends, freshman Ellie Hefley, participated in track this past spring season with Brands. “She always works her hardest at track practice and she pushes herself to better everyday,” Hefley said. She also did track with Brands last year in middle school. “Elizabeth is such a funny and comical individual,” Hefley said. Brands never fails to put Hefley in a good mood.

Brands does a great job of balancing school and sports. “I make sure that I do my homework right when I get home and work on my time management,” Brands said. She tries to stay on top of school work all the time. Most of the time she will try to get all her homework done before the weekend so she can have free time. “She likes to run, and she likes to do little art projects sometimes,” Sophie said.

Elizabeth also participated in soccer this past fall. She was on the JV2 girls’ soccer team. “I like soccer, all the people on my team were so nice and I love getting to know them,” Brands said. She enjoys soccer but her real passion is running.

Brands has started to like high school better than middle school. She says she has more freedom to do what she wants. “…there are more chances to get involved with things you like because they offer clubs and sports,” Brands said. She also enjoys all of the new experiences of high school. “So far, I have really enjoyed my freshmen year, I have gotten to get to know lots of new people and try new things,” she said. Brands has made lots of new friends this year by meeting people through sports and classes.

Brands friends know she cares about everyone and everything. Alex Bledsoe has been one of Brands’ closest friends throughout the years, and did track this past season with Brands as well. “Elizabeth is not only an exceptional track athlete, but an exceptional girl with a great heart,” Bledsoe said. Bledsoe has known Brands since kindergarten, and they are still friends today. “She is always finding ways to make her friends and family smile,” Bledsoe said.

Elizabeth Brands is one of the funniest, kindest, and nicest girls you will ever meet. Brands manages to balance both school and track, while coming out on top in both. Brands is an example of what other track kids aspire for.  

Freshman Elizabeth Brands competes in a match at Tigard High School.